How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

The music industry has always been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream all the time rises to the highest is way from a given. For anyone band that makes a dwelling out of their music, there are not less than a thousand that by no means will - and the proportion of musicians that actually grow to be wealthy by their work is smaller still. There's, nonetheless, a common feeling (if not an precise consensus) that these musicians who do make it are there because they're indirectly intrinsically better than the swathes of artists left in their wake.

This is reminiscent of Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of quality - what makes something good, and is there really any objective customary by which such high quality might be measured? Most people would say there may be, as they can easily tell if a band is superb or a bunch of talentless hacks - however when it comes right down to it, this quantities to nothing more than personal taste and opinion. Although one can level to certain technical qualities like musicianship, structural complexity and production values, music is more than the sum of its elements - one can not dismiss the Sex Pistols for not having the technical genius of Mozart, no more than one can successfully rank the music of Stockhausen above or under that of Willie Nelson. It appears that evidently in terms of music, it have to be instilled with a Philosophiok Mercury which is as intangible as it is unpredictable. The only barometer by which we will choose is whether or not we like it or not. Or is there something more?

Recent history is littered with examples of works and artists that are now considered classics (or have at the very least turn out to be enormously standard) which have been at first rejected offhand by expertise scouts, agents or industry executives. Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Beatles - all fall into this class, as does Pirsigs traditional work Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude could be neglected, then what chance do merely moderately proficient artists have of ever being noticed? On the other hand, the entertainment sphere is packed filled with artists who may never hope to be anything close to moderately talented. So does the entertainment industry really know what its doing, when so lots of its predicted hits fail miserably and rejected unknowns preserve popping up with chart-toppers? Latest analysis would appear to suggest not.

Now that Web is in full flight, social media networks are changing the best way we access and perceive content. The digital music age is upon us, and the convenience with which new music from unsigned bands could be obtained has created a new financial model for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-blog/IM/electronic mail has grow to be a really powerful tool for aspiring artists. Mixed with the fact that single downloads now count towards a songs official chart position, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can happen entirely online. But does such bewebbed convenience make it simpler to predict what will grow to be a hit?

The standard method of main labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this appears a superbly legitimate strategy - if you happen to take a girl who appears form of like Shania Twain, give her an album of songs that sound just-like, a similarly designed album cover, and spend the identical amount of money promoting her, then absolutely this new album will also be successful. Often, nonetheless, this will not be the case - instead, another woman who possesses all these traits (with music of a simlar quality) seems from nowhere and goes on to get pleasure from a spell of pop stardom.

This method is clearly flawed, but what's the downside? Its this - the belief that the thousands and thousands of people who purchase a selected album achieve this independently of one another. This will not be how individuals (within the collective sense) eat music. Music is a social entity, as are the individuals who listen to it - it helps to outline social groups, creates a way of belonging, identity and shared experience. Treating a group of such magnitude as if it had been just a compilation of discrete models utterly removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single individual, removed from social influences, may choose to listen to Artist A, the same person in real life goes to be launched to artists via their buddies, both locally or on-line, and will instead find yourself listening to Artists C and Ok, who could also be of an analogous (and even inferior) quality however that is not the real point. Music can be as much about image as about sound.